In the arena of shopping center public safety, IPC International Corp (IPC) of Bannockburn, IL is an industry leader in the area of shopping center security, an area in which the Segway Personal Transporter (PT) has become very popular. IPC presently provides security at more than 450 shopping centers and has almost 30 years of experience. IPC has earned certification by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Safety Act of 2002 for their security services.
In early 2006, the Segway evaluated the IPC Patrol Training Program and made IPC its national preferred provider for security and law enforcement training. It is with this designation that IPC International has moved forward and developed a curriculum for the new Segway PT models.
The new program takes the Segway PT units and combines them with IPC’s already existing security officer training program. IPC provides training on both the first generation Segway originally called the Human Transporter (HT) as well as the new generation Segway PT. They have slightly different operation techniques and safety procedures.
As a leader in training, IPC pioneered the first modular, 40-hour Pre-Assignment and Basic Training course-specific for the shopping center industry. IPC believes in keeping personnel trained; its training process covers from Pre-Assignment to Specialized Training and Professional Development. With all new agency equipment comes training, and in 2004, when IPC announced it was introducing the Segway Personal Transporter first generation into its mall security, training was an important part.
IPC is continually developing new advancements and technology that can assist officers in their duties. Many agencies already use bicycles, golf carts and other modes of transportation in the patrol function. According to IPC, they were looking for a transportation option that would increase the visibility of the officers as well as “a mode of transportation that was more maneuverable and center-friendly than a golf cart for patrol duties inside and outside shopping malls,” according to Jade Hirt, IPC’s national manager of staff development.
IPC introduced the Segway PT to one of its malls in Houston. At the beginning of a three-month security patrol test, Segway representatives trained key IPC personnel on the basic functions and capabilities of the units. IPC evaluated all aspects of the use of Segway PTs and realized increased officer capabilities including increased visibility, improved response times and mobility were added bonuses that could not be ignored. Satisfied with the Segways, IPC elected to develop a standardized training program for its public safety officers.
“We developed a training curriculum that instructs our officers on the safe and efficient way to use the Segway PT on patrol,” Hirt said. “All of our Segway PT officers understand that this is an important tool to help them with their daily security duties to the center and that these machines are not toys.” IPC’s Training and Professional Development Team created a 40-page manual and produced a 24-minute training video. IPC presently has five national Segway instructor trainers and 57 static property trainers who use more than 80 Segway PT units in the United States and Puerto Rico.
The user training class is four to six hours, and an instructor course is six to eight hours. IPC is available to train any agency personnel, and contact can be made through Segway or directly to IPC. An agency that buys units can ask for training information from the dealer, and it will be routed to IPC for Segway’s only recognized training program. The Segway PT is easy to learn to ride but no different than the police bike; training for safety and liability concerns is a must.
If officers use the units on a continuous basis, as is the case with IPC personnel, no updated training is needed. If an officer is off for a while, a refresher ride is in order, which can be just riding in non-busy times or riding with an instructor if needed. If an officer, for whatever reason, is off the unit for a year or more, he is sent back to retake the original program.